Leviticus 5:17 – Ignorance and Accountability

By Wayne Jackson

Does God really hold people accountable for their conduct, even when they are unaware of the fact that they are violating His law? Some allege that He does not. They contend, at least in a practical way, that “ignorance is bliss.” The Scriptures do not support this notion.

Leviticus 5:17 deals with this principle. Read it carefully. “And if any one sin, and do any of the things which Jehovah has commanded not to be done; though he knew it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.” A sacrifice had to be offered so that atonement could be made for the matter “wherein he erred unwittingly and knew it not” (18). Draw a block around Leviticus 5:17-18, and in your margin write: Ignorance does not change guilt into innocence. One must study the Bible and ever be growing in knowledge, for the Lord expects us to know and to obey His sacred will.

Small f26f621c f6aa 4d2b 853d 24e53c812a17

About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.